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English Boy/Turkish Girl - Would really appreciate your advice.

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Hi everyone,

 

I hope you’re all well.

 

I’m completely new to the forum in terms of posting, but have been reading the really valuable and empathetic relationship advice people have been giving to those in intercultural Turkish relationships.

I would really be grateful for some of that objective, non-judgmental and supportive advice right now.

 

3 months ago, I met a Turkish girl at a university social event in Birmingham, UK, where I’m from. After two intercultural, long-distance and ultimately failed relationships, I was very cautious about getting involved in anything along the same lines and the last thing I went to this event for was to meet somebody. But we got talking, just hit it off from the first moment and had the most incredible 6 weeks together before she had to return to Istanbul to study. She had been in the UK for a work placement.

 

We have stayed in contact all day every day via SMS and Skype and are what you would describe as very “Loved-Up” and happy together.

 

I visited her 2 weeks ago in Ankara, where she was herself visiting friends, and we had an amazing week together. As a person, I can honestly say I have never been with anyone who is as kind, caring, warm and beautiful as her.

 

However, as I have found out more and more about the reality of our situation, I have been hit with immense doubts about whether we could have a future together.

 

Distance: Firstly, I now have an extremely busy job in London, for which I have to do several years of exams. I have gone to hell and back to get this opportunity and I can’t turn it down for someone I’ve only known for a few months, irrespective of how much I feel I love her, by moving to Turkey. She has a year of studying ahead still in Istanbul and the UK VISA system for Turkish people has now become near impossible, as many of you I’m sure already know. I am 27 years old, 5 years her senior, and keen to meet someone and settle down at some point. How can I stake my future on a girl that I can only see, at best, once every 5-6 weeks and with whom I could never live before marriage?

 

Religion: Whilst she drinks alcohol, doesn’t pray or go to the Mosque, dresses like a fashionable European girl, she is proud to say she is Muslim, and rightly so. I respect that and feel we should all be proud of our families and backgrounds. I, however, have been raised in a completely non-religious home and for all intents and purposes am an atheist. I feel very strongly that my children are not raised religiously, which is a belief I have held for a long time. That is nothing against religion. I have countless very good Muslim, Christian and Jewish friends. It is just a belief of mine, based on my life experiences, which I feel as strongly about as they do about their religious beliefs. I know that, given Turkish society, and her and her family’s proud identification with Islam, this would be near impossible if we had children and certainly a source of much discontentment on both sides.

 

And likewise for her, what if she gave up everything to come to England to be with me and our relationship just didn’t work out, as many don’t that began perfectly? Is that fair to her?

 

So, my situation is that I have a girlfriend, who I would, under different circumstances, happily spend the rest of my life with based on what I’ve seen. She is kind, warm, beautiful and you know the rest…

But I see so many issues that I just can’t see a solution to.

 

I don’t regret meeting her, even though it is going to cause both of us immense pain if I end it.

 

I don’t want to shatter her heart, nor mine, but I can’t see anything but difficulty, pain and uncertainty for us both in the future. I want to be fair and true to her, as well as myself.

 

To some of you, I probably sound like I’ve made up my mind, and maybe to an extent I have done.

 

But what I would really value is just some objective, non-judgemental advice for a guy who loves a girl, wants to do nothing but make her happy, but may ultimately have to shatter her… and himself.

 

I really appreciate you taking the time to read this and wish you great Christmas.

 

Thank you, really…

 

Greg

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Hi Greg.

 

If you're really into this girl you have talk it through with her and come up with a solution. You say you have a job in London, I don't know what it is but is there a chance your company has an office in Istanbul? My friend works for a computer software company and he transferred his position to Istanbul when he met a Turkish girl. 

 

Many relationships with Turks often don't last, although many do. I've got friends who've been together for 10+ years and I know couples who've moved heaven and earth to be together in Turkey only for it to fail after a few months. It's a matter of discovering the sacrifices both of you will be making. You've obviously spent many years focusing on your career. Is she worth your career? 

 

It's a horrible feeling when you're faced with the decision of stick or twist. I came to Istanbul for a girl and I'm still here after 3.5 years, and now that looks like it may finish...although the only major thing I gave up, to move here, was a season ticket at the Villa.

 

If you've any more questions, just ask.

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Hi Greg;

 

I'm a 27 yo Turkish Man. Honestly thinking, you do not need any advice for this situation. Your thoughts are completely sound and logical.

 

Seems to me, only case you two try to make this relationship work is as follows: You arrange her a social work (non paid but helps to get visa), a graduate program at any university near you, or even a cheap language school or something enables her to come to the UK. So she moves to UK temporarily, looks for a job and/or work permit while studying (or doing whatever). If she makes it and also if she will be happy to live in UK (leaving all her friends and family in Turkey) then maybe you will have a future. Odds are low but I still think it's worth a try since living in UK for her will somehow be fancy and prestigious (I guess).

 

Good luck.

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Hi Greg.

 

If you're really into this girl you have talk it through with her and come up with a solution. You say you have a job in London, I don't know what it is but is there a chance your company has an office in Istanbul? My friend works for a computer software company and he transferred his position to Istanbul when he met a Turkish girl. 

 

Many relationships with Turks often don't last, although many do. I've got friends who've been together for 10+ years and I know couples who've moved heaven and earth to be together in Turkey only for it to fail after a few months. It's a matter of discovering the sacrifices both of you will be making. You've obviously spent many years focusing on your career. Is she worth your career? 

 

It's a horrible feeling when you're faced with the decision of stick or twist. I came to Istanbul for a girl and I'm still here after 3.5 years, and now that looks like it may finish...although the only major thing I gave up, to move here, was a season ticket at the Villa.

 

If you've any more questions, just ask.

 

Hi Clinky,

 

Thanks very much for the reply - it's much appreciated. :)Unfortunately, there is no way I could move to Turkey for work. My company is UK-based only.

 

As you said, you can turn your whole world upside down to try and make something work and even then it can still not work. Without a crystal ball, all I can do is weigh-up the pros and cons. And after doing so, it is overwhelmingly the cons that add up.

 

Wishing you the very best for your lady situation.

 

Best,

 

Greg

Hi Greg;

 

I'm a 27 yo Turkish Man. Honestly thinking, you do not need any advice for this situation. Your thoughts are completely sound and logical.

 

Seems to me, only case you two try to make this relationship work is as follows: You arrange her a social work (non paid but helps to get visa), a graduate program at any university near you, or even a cheap language school or something enables her to come to the UK. So she moves to UK temporarily, looks for a job and/or work permit while studying (or doing whatever). If she makes it and also if she will be happy to live in UK (leaving all her friends and family in Turkey) then maybe you will have a future. Odds are low but I still think it's worth a try since living in UK for her will somehow be fancy and prestigious (I guess).

 

Good luck.

 

Hi Emreoz,

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post. It's much appreciated. :)

 

I agree there is a chance if we go down the route you suggested, but unfortunately that doesn't solve the other issues of religion and so forth.

 

Plus, should things not work out, it is unfair on her to have sacrificed so much to be with me. It's immense pressure on both of us.

 

Best,

 

Andrew

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Hello Greg,

 

I fully understand the situation you're in right now and am having the same thoughts - a bit different though, as I'm dating a Turkish guy. We are also only knowing us for a few months now and I have to leave in the middle of January - the thought of leaving sucks really hard... I tried to stay longer for a work placement, but it didn't work out because of several reasons. However, for me it is far easier to return to Turkey as I wanna do a Master's degree starting next autumn - I would never be able to ask him in our current situation if he would come to Germany for me. After some while maybe ... but after knowing each other for a few weeks? Not knowing if it will work out, or if maybe the cultural differences etc. will be too much after some while and so on, and so on.

 

However, I would also talk to her, maybe she can combine her studies again with a stay in the UK? (Then it's at least not so much of a "sacrifice") This is what I now consider as written above...

I would never give up my plans I have for my career, but for me it doesn't matter so much if I do the "same" Master degree in Germany, Austria or Turkey - if its the same business area and all Universities have a good reputation, similar fees....

 

But honestly, right now, I cannot imagine to live in Turkey forever. I simply want us to have a chance - to see if it may work out, if we have a future, if we "function" together...if so, we can still discuss where we wanna live and who of us, well, will kind of give up his/her life.

 

(I don't know any advice on the Religion issue, though. I'm probably quite lucky as this is not of importance for my boyfriend and me...he is a non-believer and I'm Catholic but not extreme at all. So, right now, not an issue for us. But if we think of the future [which is also somehow weird...with my last boyfriends this topic never came up SO early. But now it automatically pops into your mind, because its something to consider], in which religion will the kids be raised? I want them definitely to be Christian. I also can't imagine to raise them up in Turkey. Well, anyway, this are of course not the first topics, but it's still on your mind when thinking about a future.)

 

Have a nice evening...and don't worry too much ;)

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It is really nice that you love her so much that you would leave her in order to cause her greater pain in the future. That is really admirable. It is really down to whether you want to take the risk of seeing what happens. I think you have picked out the right issues and I don't want to tell you what to do but distance at your age is hard as you said you want to settle down. It is a lot of work travelling back and forth. As a Muslim myself I could see the problems that arise if you were to have children. Like you said she is Muslim and although she may not practice I would presume she wants her kids to be raised with the basic belief of Islam i.e. belief in one God. And I don't mean to sound rude but you are an atheist - there isn't really similarity there. I think the best thing to do is to discuss these things with her then maybe you will have a clearer idea of what to expect. Wish you the best in your decision.

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Hello Greg,

 

I fully understand the situation you're in right now and am having the same thoughts - a bit different though, as I'm dating a Turkish guy. We are also only knowing us for a few months now and I have to leave in the middle of January - the thought of leaving sucks really hard... I tried to stay longer for a work placement, but it didn't work out because of several reasons. However, for me it is far easier to return to Turkey as I wanna do a Master's degree starting next autumn - I would never be able to ask him in our current situation if he would come to Germany for me. After some while maybe ... but after knowing each other for a few weeks? Not knowing if it will work out, or if maybe the cultural differences etc. will be too much after some while and so on, and so on.

 

However, I would also talk to her, maybe she can combine her studies again with a stay in the UK? (Then it's at least not so much of a "sacrifice") This is what I now consider as written above...

I would never give up my plans I have for my career, but for me it doesn't matter so much if I do the "same" Master degree in Germany, Austria or Turkey - if its the same business area and all Universities have a good reputation, similar fees....

 

But honestly, right now, I cannot imagine to live in Turkey forever. I simply want us to have a chance - to see if it may work out, if we have a future, if we "function" together...if so, we can still discuss where we wanna live and who of us, well, will kind of give up his/her life.

 

(I don't know any advice on the Religion issue, though. I'm probably quite lucky as this is not of importance for my boyfriend and me...he is a non-believer and I'm Catholic but not extreme at all. So, right now, not an issue for us. But if we think of the future [which is also somehow weird...with my last boyfriends this topic never came up SO early. But now it automatically pops into your mind, because its something to consider], in which religion will the kids be raised? I want them definitely to be Christian. I also can't imagine to raise them up in Turkey. Well, anyway, this are of course not the first topics, but it's still on your mind when thinking about a future.)

 

Have a nice evening...and don't worry too much Posted Image

Hi Joke89,

 

Thanks for your message. :)

 

It's nice to hear I'm not the only person in the same sort of situation, although yours is obviously different as you're finishing your studies in any case and have the possibility of going to Turkey. I really hope that goes well for you. :)

 

I will certainly talk to my Turkish lady, but even if she came for one year of studying, what happens after that year? She then has no way of staying in the UK and there are just so many problems to overcome...

 

I am naturally a dreamer. I have taken a lot of risks in my life and I always believe big dreams are worth fighting for, but long-term distance from each other, massive differences in culture and religion, uncertainty about the future and so forth.... These are all incredibly tough to overcome.

 

Ich nehme übrigens an, dass du aus Deutschland kommst. :) Ich hätte die ganze Antwort auf Deutsch geschrieben, aber ich will natürlich auch, dass die anderen hier das lesen können!

 

Frohe Weihnachten! :)

 

Andrew

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It is really nice that you love her so much that you would leave her in order to cause her greater pain in the future. That is really admirable. It is really down to whether you want to take the risk of seeing what happens. I think you have picked out the right issues and I don't want to tell you what to do but distance at your age is hard as you said you want to settle down. It is a lot of work travelling back and forth. As a Muslim myself I could see the problems that arise if you were to have children. Like you said she is Muslim and although she may not practice I would presume she wants her kids to be raised with the basic belief of Islam i.e. belief in one God. And I don't mean to sound rude but you are an atheist - there isn't really similarity there. I think the best thing to do is to discuss these things with her then maybe you will have a clearer idea of what to expect. Wish you the best in your decision.

Thanks for your message, Destiny. :)

 

The whole idea of leaving somebody you really care about, to save them some pain in the future sounds crazy, but at least you can maybe see my logic and way of thinking.

 

Yes, distance at my age is hard, work is crazy busy and it is not cheap to travel to and from Turkey for the whole year.

 

Religion? I respect everybody's religion. Completely.

 

But I don't want it for my children. It's as simple as that.

 

Thanks again and best wishes. :)

 

Andrew

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Hi Joke89,

 

Thanks for your message. Posted Image

 

It's nice to hear I'm not the only person in the same sort of situation, although yours is obviously different as you're finishing your studies in any case and have the possibility of going to Turkey. I really hope that goes well for you. Posted Image

 

I will certainly talk to my Turkish lady, but even if she came for one year of studying, what happens after that year? She then has no way of staying in the UK and there are just so many problems to overcome...

 

I am naturally a dreamer. I have taken a lot of risks in my life and I always believe big dreams are worth fighting for, but long-term distance from each other, massive differences in culture and religion, uncertainty about the future and so forth.... These are all incredibly tough to overcome.

 

Ich nehme übrigens an, dass du aus Deutschland kommst. Posted Image Ich hätte die ganze Antwort auf Deutsch geschrieben, aber ich will natürlich auch, dass die anderen hier das lesen können!

 

Frohe Weihnachten! Posted Image

 

Andrew

 

 

Dir auch frohe Weihnachen :)

Warum kannst du Deutsch? :D

 

Bei uns hat sich die Lage jetzt doch nochmal etwas geändert - er möchte nicht, dass ich für den Master hierhin komme (er weiß, dass die Türkei nicht mein favorisiertes Land ist zum Leben) und will versuchen irgendwie in dem nächsten Jahr nach Deutschland zu kommen/auszuwandern. Mal schauen ob das funktioniert...mich würde es natürlich freuen, da ich die letzten 4-5 Jahre in verschiedenen Ländern gelebt habe und einfach mal wieder ne gewisse Zeit in Deutschland leben möchte. Er mag Deutschland sehr, war schon ein paar mal da, hat Verwandte da...daher kann er sich sehr gut vorstellen dort zu leben. Ich selber bin total flexibel was die Stadt in Deutschland angeht, sprich da könnte man dann auch schauen, dass man nah zueinander zieht bzw direkt in die gleiche Stadt - aber naja. Vll. sollte ich mir erstmal nicht soviele Hoffnungen machen, das ist schließlich alles mit viel Papierkram und Geld verbunden. Also abwarten und Tee trinken...und die letzten gemeinsamen Wochen genießen. 

 

 

One thought that popped to my mind while reading your statement about religion...it can be that she wants you to convert to Islam if things get serious (marriage) - or that her family wants you to. A male Muslim is apparently allowed to marry a Christian/whatever (...because he is stronger & more influencing etc and may convince her of his beliefs) but a female Muslim is not allowed to marry a Christian/whatever (...as she is apparently weaker and would be convinced by the beliefs of her "non-believing" husband). Did you already talk about this topic? In particular, as you also don't want to have a religion (or Islam?) for your future children. Even if she's not really practising, this can be a great deal...

 

Merry Christmas everyone :)

 

Johanna

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Dir auch frohe Weihnachen Posted Image

Warum kannst du Deutsch? Posted Image

 

Bei uns hat sich die Lage jetzt doch nochmal etwas geändert - er möchte nicht, dass ich für den Master hierhin komme (er weiß, dass die Türkei nicht mein favorisiertes Land ist zum Leben) und will versuchen irgendwie in dem nächsten Jahr nach Deutschland zu kommen/auszuwandern. Mal schauen ob das funktioniert...mich würde es natürlich freuen, da ich die letzten 4-5 Jahre in verschiedenen Ländern gelebt habe und einfach mal wieder ne gewisse Zeit in Deutschland leben möchte. Er mag Deutschland sehr, war schon ein paar mal da, hat Verwandte da...daher kann er sich sehr gut vorstellen dort zu leben. Ich selber bin total flexibel was die Stadt in Deutschland angeht, sprich da könnte man dann auch schauen, dass man nah zueinander zieht bzw direkt in die gleiche Stadt - aber naja. Vll. sollte ich mir erstmal nicht soviele Hoffnungen machen, das ist schließlich alles mit viel Papierkram und Geld verbunden. Also abwarten und Tee trinken...und die letzten gemeinsamen Wochen genießen. 

 

 

One thought that popped to my mind while reading your statement about religion...it can be that she wants you to convert to Islam if things get serious (marriage) - or that her family wants you to. A male Muslim is apparently allowed to marry a Christian/whatever (...because he is stronger & more influencing etc and may convince her of his beliefs) but a female Muslim is not allowed to marry a Christian/whatever (...as she is apparently weaker and would be convinced by the beliefs of her "non-believing" husband). Did you already talk about this topic? In particular, as you also don't want to have a religion (or Islam?) for your future children. Even if she's not really practising, this can be a great deal...

 

Merry Christmas everyone Posted Image

 

Johanna

Danke, Johanna. :)

 

Ich war zu Hause bei meinen Eltern... hat Spaß gemacht wieder Zeit mit meiner Familie zu verbringen!

 

Klingt alles cool, dass er versucht, nach Deutschland zu fahren, um mit dir zu sein. Es ist auf jeden Fall gut, dass er Verwandte da hat. War er schon mal in Deutschland?

 

Das Ding ist, wir versuchen hier alle "DIE richtige Antwort" zu unseren Problemen/Beziehungen zu finden, aber eine richtige Antwort gibt es einfach nicht. Wir können letztendlich nur das Pro und Kontra gegeneinander abwägen und dementsprechend eine Entscheidung treffen...

 

Ich sehe schon, dass es höchst unwahrscheinlich ist, dass es in meiner Lage in der Zukunft klappt... Es gibt einfach wegen Arbeit, Religion usw... zu viele Probleme.

 

Ich will auch natürlich nicht ihr Herz brechen, aber so ist das Leben... :(

 

Wünsche dir alles Gute.

 

Greg

 

(Ich lerne übrigens in meiner Freizeit gerne Fremdsprachen. Mein Deutsch ist nicht perfekt, aber ich tu mein Bestes so oft wie möglich zu üben!)

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If you respect religions but would refuse to have your children brought up with any of it, then there's a bit of a disconnect there.

 

She sounds like (to me) that she's one of those Turkish Muslims that only identify with the faith because it's on their ID card, but don't really practice.  Still, it's true about the conversion bit.

 

I think the only way to get a grip on the situation would be to put it out there- if the two of you should marry and have kids, you'd want NO RELIGION win the kids' lives.  Period.  Would she be OK with that?  And could she marry you if you didn't convert?  I suppose you could go through the motions since it doesn't mean anything to you, but that might also be compromising your views...

 

As far as living in the UK, I suppose if she were your wife, it could be done.  I'm in the States, so I'm no help there.

 

Best of luck!

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